Breaking Patterns

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I want to share my experiences about destructive patterns of behaviors as I have been forced to see and acknowledge these destructive patterns in my life.  There are big patterns such as repeating the same behavioral patterns we experienced in our childhoods now in our adults lives.  Then, there are repeating behavioral patterns with the same person, such as an abusive or unhealthy relationship.  I have had problems with both.

What I have observed is that our egos do not allow us to see these behavioral patterns easily within our own lives. However,we are able to see these patterns very clearly with others, and in fact, we are happy to point these out to others. This ability to see inward is not an easy one, and most of us, including myself, have struggled to see these behavioral patterns that appear obvious to others.

The technique I use to be able to see past my ego into my own reality is called looking into the mirror.  This is how it works.  I will choose someone in my life who mirrors some aspect of my life, such as someone who lived through childhood abuse or experienced trauma.  I will observe their life patterns or relationship abuse patterns, and frequently, something will ring true about their situation to me.

Once this happens, I realize that I am likely experiencing the same patterns as this individual.  Some of the patterns are uncannily similar sometimes down to the number of months that these patterns will repeat.  One such pattern that I have observed about myself involved a pattern of three or four months.  During these months, I will suffer a rejection or failure, and will revert back to a destructive behavioral pattern of returning to a prior unhealthy relationship or begin another similarly unhealthy relationship.  

The key to breaking our behavioral patterns is awareness not to repeat these patterns again. As I am trying very hard to heal my emotional wounds, I will likely revert back to these destructive patterns until I have healed completely.  Another way to determine if we are repeating the same behavioral patterns is to ask ourselves if we have been here before.  Have I experienced these feelings before? Have I experienced this hurt before?  Does this remind me of a similar past experience?  

Awareness will allow us to see the road we are walking down again, and prevent us from becoming stuck on our journeys.  Keeping a diary or journal is another great way of tracking patterns of negative behavior.  As this blog is a diary of my spiritual journey, I have reviewed my past posts and recognized that I have repeated the same behavioral patterns quite a few times before.  May you find your unhealthy patterns and break them.  Blessings of love, Brooke (Copyright 2014 Kundalini Spirit with All Rights Reserved)     

Why People Sexually Offend

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As a person who experienced sexual abuse in my life, I am always trying to understand what causes someone to become a sexual abuser. My suggestion with meeting any new people in your life is to listen to your inner voice or intuition that will warn you of sex offenders.   Particularly with those of us with a sexual abuse history, it will feel familiar and even feel like attraction or love at first, but do not ignore your inner voice. I found an interesting article on why people sexually offend others and the psychological theories as follows:

Freud’s Psychodynamic Theory suggests that the three constructs of the psyche (id, ego, and superego) are in constant turmoil over energy. Some theorists suggest that sexual offenders have very weak superegos (morals) and very powerful ids (sexual impulses, libido). Freud actually introduced the idea of sexual abuse early in his career with the paper entitled, “The Seduction Theory”, but because his peers rejected such a concept, he revised his theory to be interpersonal or “in the head”. Freud also developed and expanded the idea of the unconscious, and numerous defense mechanisms to protect a person’s ego. Sexual offenders overly rely on the defenses of denial, displacement, and projection. Also at play would be the mother-son relationship. There is research to substantiate that the mother-son relationship is qualitatively different in sexual offenders than in non-offenders. Many times the sex offender’s mother may be “hot and cold”, “loving and hating”. Furthermore, many mothers initiate covert incest with their son. With covert incest, there is no physical sexual relationship between the mother and son; the mother tends to make her son into her spouse, save the sex. All of the aforementioned concepts would shape the young man into a sexual deviant.

Cognitive Behavioral Theory suggests that irrational beliefs and cognitive distortions help to initiate sexual deviancy. Soon after the offender becomes conditioned to negative sexual stimuli, with “orgasm” being the reinforcer. These constructs combined (cognitive/behavioral) create persistent patterns on how the offender behaves as well as views the world. The secrecy, among other constructs, soon becomes part of the conditioned response and perpetuates the deviancy. The Learning Theory is also a significant component of this approach. Children who are sexually abused learn sex through inappropriate means, and if exposed enough, children may internalize this learned behavior. Sex offenders do appear to view the world differently than “normal” men–they perceive women, children, sex, and arousal qualitatively different. When this occurs after a long period of time, the offender begins to behave accordingly. Many times the sexual offender suffers from chronic low grade depression, very low self esteem, has been ridiculed his entire life, and so forth. These traits tend to distort the offenders view of the world, and, for the molester, he may find comfort and acceptance in the children he so desires. Immaturity is a trademark of the child molester. This appears to occur due to the fact that he has not advanced emotionally since his tormented adolescent years.

Evolutionary Theory posits that males in general have learned throughout time to become more aggressive and dominant towards women in particular. This would be due to successful reproduction and passing on the male’s genetic material. The more aggressive males continued to pass on those genes while at the same time learning from prior generations. Prehistoric women were monogamous by nature–they needed men to assist them during and after childbirth. Without the assistance of man, the mortality rate for women and children would be substantially reduced. The more sexually aggressive males mated much more frequently than passive males, and therefore those genes kept evolving. Today, society becomes outraged when we compare human beings to animals. “We have advanced so much” “But our brains are so much more complex”. The truth reveals that the human sexual drive and behavior is very similar to that of other mammals. Though our brains have advanced throughout time, our inherent drive to reproduce has not. This theory may partially account for rape, but fails to address child molestation. A strong indicator of this theory is that most sexual crimes are committed by males.

Bio-medical model suggests that sexual offenders produce more testosterone than non-offenders, and is similar to the evolutionary theory. New research suggests that males with longer ring fingers than index fingers may have more testosterone in the body. I have found that the offenders I have worked with do, in general, have longer ring fingers than the substance abuse clients I have treated with no known history of sexual deviancy The production of testosterone is in the testes, thereby removing the testes reduces or eliminates testosterone (either surgically or chemically). There are numerous studies suggesting significant reductions in recidivism rates in those who have been castrated.

Learning Theory would suggest that an offender has somehow learned the sexual deviancy from his or her environment. This theory also incorporates “modeling”. This would suggest that the offender learned the behavior from watching someone else behave in a similar fashion, or even by their own sexual abuse. Studies have suggested that anywhere from 30% to 80% of offenders have been sexually abused themselves in the past, and this information may offer credible evidence to support this theory. There are many offenders, however, that report that they have never been sexually abused, and never witnessed sexual abuse in the past. Many offenders do appear to be continually learning and advancing in their sexual deviancy. They learn how to obtain victims more effectively; learn how far they can go; learn what things arouse them more; learn how to avoid or escape detection.

There are a number of “sub-theories” which may include the dynamics of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Attachment Theory, and so forth. For many of the clients I see (both adolescents and adult sexual offenders), many appear to share the same symptomology: low self esteem, poor self perception, depression, isolation from same age peers, difficulty achieving and maintaining intimate relationships, and their “comfort zone” appears to be limited to their victimology characteristics.

Why does one decide to “go over the edge” and sexually offend someone? First we must remember, what “edge” are we referring to, our own standards, or the offenders. It is very easy for us to say that the offender should have known better, and for us to search out the “hidden reasons” why an offender initially engaged in the behavior. What if the truth is that it is all they know? Their world has been plagued with inconsistencies and warped boundaries, that they did not attach the same connotations as “we” may have. Moreover, it is quite possible that many sex offenders are very self centered people who are very selfish, and were only looking to satisfy their own yearnings. ~ Rosenberg  and Associates. For the complete article and other resources, please see: http://www.angelfire.com/mi/collateral/page2.html

Heal Depression and Anxiety through Meditation

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As human kind has progressed, we spend more and more time in our intellectual knowledge.  This knowledge is in the form of thoughts in our minds largely created by our left brains.  Unfortunately, we as a specie have come to identify ourselves with our thoughts directed by the left brain that is more associated with ego.

By associating with these thoughts, we come to identify with ego who is centered around controlling outcomes, others, and our environment. This is not a judgment that left brain activities are bad, but merely that human progress has become off balanced, where we connect less with our right brain activities involving the intuitive, holistic, and spiritual.

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As I discussed in my earlier post on “Our Neuropathways affect Spiritual Consciousness,” our physical wiring of the brain is effected by our thoughts moving through it.  During periods of sustained attention, neurons will wire together to create neuropathways directly affecting what we experience in our lives.  Therefore, if our thoughts are based in controlling outcomes, others, and our environment, then our brain will physically be wired in this way.  As a result, we will experience the need for more control in our lives.

Because of our need for control, many may feel depression and anxiety for our failures to control our lives in the past, and the fear of being unable to control our futures. In order to change the pathways for our neurons, meditation can be used to change our neuropathways since it requires sustained attention.  Click HERE for how to meditate.

During meditation, I suggest working on separating from identifying with our egos, including the need to control outcomes, others, and our environment. Click HERE on how to identify ego.  During these periods of meditation, focus on positive thoughts, loving self, loving others unconditionally, feeling compassion, thoughts of kindness, feeling of self worth, connection to the Divine, feeling oneness with others, gratitude, acceptance, surrender, and living without expectations of outcome.

Good luck and see if meditation will help with your depression and anxiety.  Much love to you, Brooke (Copyright 2013 Kundalin Spirit with All Rights Reserved)

Validating Self Worth through Our Gender

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I have observed that we tends to validate our self worth through our gender.  This is true for those of us who associate negative feelings with ourselves.  We will sometimes test to see if others will notice us. We flirt, make eye contact, or make a comment of interest. Most of these behaviors are innocent, where we are merely testing to see if we are, in fact, attractive because we lack self esteem about who we are and how we feel about ourselves. Those with extreme self esteem problems may engage in infidelity, where we may end up lying to and hurting the very people who we profess to love.

This is not a judgment of anyone, but merely an observation of myself and others.  As I become more whole and my self esteem improves, I am beginning to let go of this need for attention from the opposite sex, since I no longer need this to boost my ego.  Healing the pains and wounds within us and recognizing this craving of our ego are the healthy ways of dealing with our lack of self worth and esteem.

As we begin to become aware of why we behave in this way, we begin to change our behaviors by honoring and respecting ourselves and those we love.  We find that validation of our self worth through others is no longer necessary for we have become more healed within.  ~ Brooke (Copyright 2013 Kundalini Spirit with All Rights Reserved)

Reliving Childhood

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For those of us who suffered childhood abuse, we had a pretty difficult and stressful childhood.  Psychologists believe that we will remain at the emotional age of when we were traumatized until we heal those past emotional wounds. As we recover emotionally and begin to heal from our past, we experience that part of our childhood that we did not really experience as healthy children would have.

For example, my childhood abuse began when I was eight years old. I have always felt that I missed my tween and teenage years of my life. What I experienced during that period was stress, fear, anxiety, and sadness.  I never truly experienced joy, curiosity, wonder, and safety. This is what I currently am experiencing now in my life.

When I am out with my friends, I feel like a teenager, dancing, listening to music, rock climbing, or playing outdoors.  I am making up for my childhood. What is different for me now in my playing is the feeling of wonder, curiosity, fearlessness, and joy, much of what a healthy child would have felt.  There is just pure happiness of living in the moment without worry about the future and sadness of my past … just pure joy.

I give thanks for another chance at my life, and feel eternal gratefulness for this reward for my spiritual work.  I breathe a sigh of relief for where I am now in my emotional recovery.  With all my love, Brooke (Copyright 2013 Kundalini Spirit with All Rights Reserved)